Mount Eden Children's Academy

An Insideschools pick
1501 JEROME AVENUE
BRONX NY 10452 Map
Phone: (718) 294-8155
Website: Click here
Admissions: District 9
Principal: Jessica Torres Maheia
Neighborhood: Mount Eden
District: 9
Grade range: PK-5
Parent Coordinator: ESMEIRA CRUZ
Number of full-day PK seats: 54
Extended PK hours offered: Contact program about extended hours.
Unzoned
New School
Full Day
School-based pre-k

What's special:

Beautiful and well-run school built by New Settlement Apartments

The downside:

Long waitlist for seats

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Mount Eden Children's Academy, opened in 2012, has quickly become the most sought after school in District 9. The modern red brick building on Jerome Avenue stands in contrast to the scrappy auto repair shops under the elevated tracks of the number 4 subway line. The New Settlement Community Campus, which houses the school, features a dance studio, rooftop garden and five-lane swimming pool.  

Teachers and administrators greet kids outside in the morning and welcome parents. "From the moment my daughter entered pre-k it's been a really amazing experience for me," said a mother of two. "I never feel shut out in any way. The principal is always around."

Principal Jessica Torres Maheia is a Bronx native. Formerly an elementary school teacher, assistant principal and literacy coach, she and her staff worked with a literacy coach and consultant to write the language lessons used in the younger grades. She wanted the school to have four periods of science a week with a science teacher, because, she said, it's hard for classroom teachers to fit it in and to "build the expertise needed for teaching science."

Children get math twice a day: first is the introduction and practice of a concept and second is practice incorporating "higher order" mathematical thinking. For example, children may decide which strategy is best to use to solve a subtraction problem from several choices, or figure out how subtraction relates to addition. Children read four or five books, as a class, each year, in addition to books they choose. They also study phonics, grammar and vocabulary.

Classes are large and children are divided into ability groups for reading lessons to make sure they get the help they need. Almost every classroom has two adults: The school hires assistants to work in larger classes and there are paraprofessionals who work one-on-one with a student with a disability.

Relations between students, principal and staff are warm and genuine. The principal often checks in on students who struggle with behavior. These kids may take a break or eat a late breakfast if it helps them get through the day without a breakdown in behavior, she said.

We saw lots of play and activity in the younger grades. There are three pre-kindergartens in this still-growing school. Most children are able to move into one of the two kindergartens because class size in kindergarten is a little larger. 

As for physical activity, there is a gymnasium, a pool and outside play space. "It's been nice to have a pool," said a parent. On cold days, for recess, kids "stay inside and watch movies or go to the gym," the parent said.

The campus also houses the Comprehensive Model School Project, which serves grades 6–12. The two schools occupy a dedicated portion of the building that is managed independently from the community center.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Unlike most schools, which offer an ICT (integrated co-teaching) model, Mount Eden offers only small "self-contained" classrooms for kids with special needs. "Kids in general education can function in the big classrooms with counseling, physical therapy, occupational therapy and/or speech services," Maheia said. "Others need a small setting." Placements are based on need. We saw a high-achiever in a wheelchair in a general education room with an aide called a "paraprofessional." Kids in the self-contained classrooms were lively, active and interested.

ADMISSIONS: Unzoned. Opened to District 9. There are far more applicants than seats available. Very few spots open in the upper grades. (Lydie Raschka, March 2016; updated by phone, August 2016)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the New Settlement Community Campus with one other school

Number of Students 358

Average Daily Attendance 96%

Students at this school

Asian

  
0%

Black

  
22%

Hispanic

  
78%

White

  
1%

Free Lunch

  
93%

Special ed

  
14%

English Language Learners

  
22%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?

100% 81% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average kindergarten class

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average fifth grade class

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

100% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

11% 23% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

How many teachers say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep students engaged?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school does a good job teaching social-emotional skills?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school does a good job teaching organizational and study skills?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam

39% 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam

34% 40% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the school survey?

79% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say they attended at least one pta meeting in the last school year?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Does the school encourage family involvement?

How many parents say they were invited to an event at the school at least 3 times in the last school year?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Do parents like the school?

How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

NA 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

NA 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

NA 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

NA 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

NA 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

NA 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say students with disabilities are included in all activities?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say students with special needs are educated in the least restrictive environment appropriate?

100% 93% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents of students with ieps say this school offers a wide enough variety of services and activities for their children’s needs?

95% 86% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

Percent of ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

10% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of former ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

29% 32% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school ensures that ells receive the same curriculum as non-ells with appropriate suppports?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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